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Fall Semester of Buddhist Classes Begins
September 6, 2015

The Fall Semester of the Buddhist Studies classes began this Sunday, September 6, with a presentation of “A Peek into the Great Perfection of Wisdom Treatise,” by Prof. Robert Smitheram. For more than ten years, Smitheram has served at the FGS International Translation Center, translating works such as Bright Star, Luminous Cloud and Four Insights for Finding Fulfillment. Beginning in 2012, he has been working on the English translation of the Great Perfection of Wisdom Treatise, having completed a draft of the first 34 fascicles which merely covers the first chapter of the treatise. Though he is busy teaching at CSU Channel Islands Camarillo by day, he still sets and meets deadlines. During the presentation, aside from introducing the historical background of the commentary and commentator, a section by Nagarjuna was cited, explaining the relationship between the bodhisattva path and the six perfections, emphasizing the concept that in the bodhisattva’s practice of self benefit and the benefit of others, wisdom is the forefront leader, and a goal to bring sentient beings into that wisdom of great prajna. Afterwards, the forty plus students posed many questions such as the differences between the sravakas path and bodhisattvas path and also difficulties in translating annotated works. Lastly, Prof. Smitheram expressed that the opportunity to translate this “Buddhist encyclopedia” was both a challenge and an honor.